1 year, 25 days.
That’s how long I have been in Colorado.
For a girl born and raised in Texas, that’s a really weird thing to say. As much as I dreamed of leaving Texas for someplace, well, prettier, I never thought I would ever have the guts to do it. And yet… here I am. Living in the land of snow, driving like an obvious Texan on said snow, and loving every part of this gorgeous state. For someone who swore I would never live anywhere even slightly chilly, I think I’m doing pretty good.
But that’s really not my point of this post.
The coolest thing, in my opinion, about being here in Colorado is that it was totally unplanned (at least from where I was standing). In a matter of three months, I decided to pack up and leave the somewhat perfect life I had always known for a somewhat uncertain purpose. At the time I thought my purpose was to go into ministry. Moving out here with a small group to start a church, you could see how I would think that. I pictured myself working in an office and, somehow, helping people see their value and significance while shuffling through paperwork.
I really didn’t expect that I would be the one needing the help.
At first, everything was great. I was confident that God had a purpose for me. I was secure in my living and working situations, and I knew that God would take care of everything. My newly found confidence in who God created me to be still kept the lies at bay, and life- as I knew it- was great.
Something changed, though. I couldn’t tell you how; I couldn’t tell you when. Something, however, changed the way I started to see life and myself. The lies that I had worked so hard to challenge came rushing back in a moment of uncertainty. The freedom that had defined my life slowly faded into the background as I willingly picked up the chains I knew so well. Life became all about hiding the truth. Shame and discouragement set in, and I wondered if God would ever forgive me for deserting Him.
Sure, everything looked great from the outside, but I couldn’t stand myself on the inside. I had always valued my authenticity with people, and the mask I wore disgusted me. What I saw in my own self turned me off from Christians and the church in general, and I cringed every time I played the role, so perfect on the outside yet hating it on the inside.
So I did what I knew I had to do- I stopped. The activities that defined “Alexis the Christian” came to a halt. Every purpose I thought I had demolished with my commitments, and I realized that I had missed the picture entirely. My purpose was never meant to be wrapped up in names, titles, and to-do lists. I was never meant to subject myself to the comments and opinions of others, and I was certainly not meant to return to the bondage of people-pleasing.
My purpose was to simply rest in who I am: a child of God.
Truthfully, I don’t know what it means to rest in that identity. There are still moments I let people and jobs define me, but-as I constantly have to remind myself- I’m further than I ever have been in the past. I may not have arrived, but I’m still walking forward. My life is nowhere near perfect, but I’m learning. I’m learning to tune out the voices that tell me who to be and resting instead in who I am and who God is.
Because really, in the end, what matters more?